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31 Oct 2017

Exploring innovative approaches to estuary conflict

RMCG Consultant Jaclyne Scally is currently on a self-guided study tour exploring innovative approaches to address conflict between agricultural and environmental values in estuaries. Funded by a Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) Leadership Development Grant, the study tour focuses on Integrated Catchment Management.

Conflict of values is a particular issue in Intermittently Closed/Open Lakes and Lagoons (ICOLL) in Victoria, where inundation of floodplains (and agricultural plains) regularly occurs. Jaclyne’s tour incorporates site visits along the east coast of Australia and New Zealand to meet with natural resource management (NRM) agencies and farmers to better understand the approaches being applied elsewhere, and their implications for Victorian estuary management.

Earlier this month she visited NRM regions along the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) catchments, where there has been a long history of NRM agencies working with landholders to improve catchment water quality. While the GBR estuaries differ greatly to Victoria, the site visits presented opportunities to learn about engagement approaches and their applicability to Victorian estuary management. Jaclyne’s experience at the GBR catchments reiterated the importance of genuine and early engagement with landholders and industry in implementing initiatives that deliver agricultural benefits, as well as positive environmental outcomes.

Jaclyne’s next stops will be NSW and New Zealand, which will include visits to ICOLL estuaries with similar management issues to those in Victoria.